Paris, 30 Aug. (IPS) With one day before the United Nations Security Council meeting on Iran’s nuclear issue, and as the Lebanese Army has started confiscating arms destined to the Iran-backed Hezbollah organization, the clerical led leadership in Tehran is wondering if the devastating 31 day war that opposed Israel to the Hezbollah left them as the biggest loser?
For official Iran, there is no doubt that Hezbollah won that conflict, its leader, Sheykh Hasan Narallah became a “hero” for the majority of the Lebanese as well as the Arab and the Muslim world and both Israel and the United States lost and humiliated.
Thank to the Almighty and the will of the heroic sons of the Muslims, a new Middle East is shaping, an Islamic Middle East.
“Thank to the Almighty and the will of the heroic sons of the Muslims, a new Middle East is shaping, not on the Great Middle East the United States wanted to create, but a New Islamic Middle East”, assured Mr. Qolamali Haddad Adel, the Speaker of the Iranian Majles, or Parliament on 16 August 2006.
“Despite the official propaganda that projects Hezbollah as the absolute winner of the hostilities with Israel, many in the leadership are wondering whether there was any winner or loser and although they accept that their Syrian ally might have scored some comeback into the Middle Eat theatre, but one country has definitely lost and this is Iran”, a senior Iranian diplomat commented for Iran Press Service on condition of note being identified.
“A recent analysis of the Resolution 1701 at both the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Supreme Council on National Security reached the conclusion that the document deprives the Islamic Republic of its most important card in the region”, the source revealed.
As for Syria, a very strong worded article in the Egyptian pro-Government newspaper “AL Gomhouriyah” told the Syrian president Bashar el Asad “not to celebrate other’s victory” and warned him to “expect increasing international political and economic pressures”.
“Maybe Iranian and Syrian leaders think that the so-called victory of the Hezbollah has strengthened their mutual positions, but once the Lebanese and international forces deployed in the areas dominated by the Hezbollah, the time for the United States, Israel and the West for revenge would come”, said a European diplomat, adding that Syria “already” suffered its first setback after German Foreign Affairs Minister Frank Walter Steinmeir canceling his planned visit to Damascus.
In fact, if the UN Security Council’s resolution 1701 is applied, and all signs points to the fact that it is being implemented, thousands of Lebanese army backed by thousands of international soldiers would be deployed all over the southern parts of the country, better known as the “Hezbollahland”, ending the 20 years-old rule of the Organisation in the region.
“Hezbollah was not a state within a State, nut a state within a non-State”, said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, a professor at the American University of Beirut.
According to informed sources, Iran has spent more tan four billion US Dollars in arms, equipments and training to make Hezbollah a strong “deterrent force” against Israel, in case the Jewish State attacks Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to Israeli soldiers who took part in the Israel-Hezbollah war, Hezbollah men were “very professional, well trained and well equipped with modern arms”.
But in the hostilities that started on 12 July following the surprise attack of the Hezbollah on an Israeli column, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two, an important part of the Hezbollah-Iran’s arsenal, including most of the medium-range Zelzal missiles that can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were destroyed by Israeli bombardment, not accounting the thousands of rockets and short-range missiles fired over Israeli towns and villages during the 31 days the war lasted.
The terrible Israeli attack on Lebanon must be seen as an exercise and rehearsal for the possible American attack on Iran.
“The terrible Israeli attack on Lebanon must be seen as an exercise and rehearsal for the possible American attack on Iran; the destructions inflicted on Lebanon must be seen on the dimensions of Iran; human costs must be multiplied by tens, considering the Iranian population … and its impact on the growth of fundamentalism evaluated at the dimensions of the region”, observed Mr. Hoseyn Baqerzadeh, an Iranian human rights and political activist based in England.
Meanwhile, the Europeans have decided to keep open the doors of dialogue with Iran concerning its controversial nuclear activities, confronting the United States, which wants the UN Security Council imposing sanctions on Tehran.
While Mr. Xavier Solana, the European Union's Minister for Foreign and Security Affairs has suggested a meeting with Mr. Ali Larijani, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator.
"We never stopped talking to the Iranians. Now it is time that we engage them on their last letter", Mr. Solana said, referring to the response Iran provided on 22 August to the latest "package" offered by the 5+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany).
His suggestion was endorsed by France, proposing to meet the Iranians in the coming days, in the sidelines of the next meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs minister in Helsinki. ENDS IRAN HEZBOLLAH 30806